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If you really want to feel good, jump down to e-mail No. 1.
If you are interested in Mel Gibson's recent problems and want to know who broke the story, check out www.TMZ.com. This is the Web site that broke the story (as an aside, Harvey Levin started this Web site. Many of us in the business have known Harvey for years — he covered the O.J. Simpson trial. At the time of the Simpson trial, he was in television.)
TMZ has filed a request under the public records law (Public Records Act) for a copy of the audio and videotapes made at the time of Gibson's arrest. TMZ — to use the words of the business — seems to "own" this story, so expect it to be covering it pretty thoroughly. (One other bit of info: Our guest on the story last night was Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press. She also covered the Simpson cases — criminal and civil — and I think it is universally agreed that she did the best job of all of us!)
Have you checked out some of the bios of my colleagues on the FOXNews.com Web site? My colleague Gretchen Carlson is a classical violinist, former Miss America (1989) and a graduate of Stanford University with honors. Yikes! That is amazing! Click here to read her bio.
Now for some e-mails… the first is from my colleague, Catherine Herridge:
E-mail No. 1
Greta, wanted to drop you a line about our trip back. I know you spoke to JD. We are thrilled to be home again. Leaving Pittsburgh was a very emotional day — and it has taken me a couple of days to digest it.
We packed up two months of living there into a couple of suitcases. It felt really liberating to throw out a lot of Peter's old medicine, like the vitamin D which his bad liver couldn't process and his diuretics because his body chemistry was all screwed up.
On the way out we stopped by the hospital to leave some gifts and cards. It is so hard to know how to thank people who saved your kid. I know it's their job, but it seems like whatever you do is not enough. So I decided I would go in person, one more time, to thank them and drop off a picture of Peter looking healthy and happy.
Our first stop was the PICU (that's what the doctors call the pediatric ICU). Peter spent a month there. Some kids make it out while others don't. I ran into one of Peter's nurses, Joe, on the way in and showed him the new picture of Peter. As we talked, I felt that really strong emotion that is down in your gut. It wasn't sadness, but just an overwhelming feeling. Seeing how thrilled Joe was, reminded me that these people work so hard to save these small kids. And when one makes it out of the PICU, it is a real personal victory for them.
As I left I saw a woman whose child went into the PICU at the same time Peter did. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I guess I felt fortunate and guilty at the time because her child was still sick and still there and we were heading home to D.C.
Our next stop was 7N — that is the transplant floor at Children's Hospital. They were thrilled for the gift (a huge breakfast basket with bagels and stuff — these folks are on their feet constantly and really appreciate a good snack). The charge nurse said thanks weren't necessary, she just wanted me to promise that we wouldn't be back unless Peter needed a "little tune up."
All she wanted to do was put Peter's picture on the wall. They have a huge glass case on 7N where they put all the kids who've had transplants. It's like a giant collage, it's packed. There must be 500 kids on the wall. I felt really moved to watch her put his picture there, it was terrific to think he had graduated.
As we drove out of town, my mind kept flashing back to our trip to Pittsburgh on June 4th — two days before the transplant. We were going at break neck speed because Peter had become so ill, they wanted him in the hospital as soon as we could get him there. I remember driving with my husband and silently hoping that he was going to make it. I don't think any of us really understood how sick he was. Maybe that was a good thing because Dr Mazariegos later told us that without the liver he would not have lived to see the end of the summer.
We feel like we are floating again to be home. We can't wait to see you and show you all the new tricks Peter has learned.
Catherine, JD, Jamie and baby Peter
E-mail No. 2 — This first e-mail is "interesting." He answered my question about bigotry before I even posted the question yesterday. I am curious if any of you know Tom McCahill — sort of a common name, but do you know him? I am sort of curious about him — what he does, what kind of life he has, etc.:
That's it! No more fair and balanced Jew crap for me! I'm totally finished with your station and I'll pass the word to everyone I possibly can. You had that filthy pig Shapiro on your show? The guy that freed OJ? Asking him questions about what they might do to Mel Gibson? That guy shouldn't show his sorry mug to anyone. He's worse than OJ.
You're an overpaid pig yourself, Greta! I thought you had some class, but nope, the Jews butter your bread also. You're worse than a hooker. At least a hooker offers a service. You make me sick! The entire Fox Jews channel makes me sick! You will all stumble very, very soon and you'll all feel the wrath of God... I can't spend the rest of my life hating what you do. Good luck and make a lot of money! Your station is so one-sided Jew, it's vomiting!
E-mail No. 3 — The next few e-mails answer the question from yesterday's blog about bigotry:
Unfortunately I know many people who are bigots. Most of the older generation (my grandparents) are and were against other races (mainly African Americans). The next generation, my parents' age, seem to be against African Americans, gays and lesbians. My generation seems to be against Middle Easterners due to terrorism. I guess it depends on what time you grew up.
E-mail No. 4
Interesting question: What would I say to Mel? Well, having been the high school girlfriend of the guy who plays Jason in several of the "Friday the 13th" movies and having seen him several times at reunions, throwing his now-considerable bulk around (he was very, very skinny in school!), always trailing a string of groupies and taking up all the air, I would say this: Rich movie stars are no better human beings than anyone else on the planet. They are just people, the same as the rest of us. No better, no worse, no more deserving of preferential treatment. So many of these rich stars have huge senses of entitlement and seem to forget that once upon a time they were just regular, face-in-the-crowd folks like the rest of us.
Thanks for all the good work you and FOX News do!
North East, PA
E-mail No. 5
It appears from all the e-mails you print that most of them represent the East, but none from the West Coast or West of the Rockies... why is that? We do enjoy your show... my wife watches it all the time. You appear to be "fair and balanced" and not like some of the bias on CNN... I like your probing questions too.
Las Vegas, NV
E-mail No. 6
I think it is fantastic, the opportunity awaiting Katie Couric, to become a successful news anchor on CBS. However, I think it's an error on the part of CBS, to allow/permit Bob Schieffer to continue being a part of the program going forward. It seems as if CBS is indicating Katie is doomed for failure on her own. I don't believe it.
If she is to have a chance at success, she needs to sink or swim, on her own merit. She should go forward, as she means to continue. Remember what happened when they paired Barbara Walters with Harry Reasoner. It came across loud and clear, in his demeanor, that he was 'tolerating' her presence.
If CBS intended Katie to be "The Anchor," then they should let her do so. They shouldn't keep Bob Schieffer waiting in the wings, in case she falters. At least that is the implication it will give her audience.
Katie is a smart individual. She's been on TV for a long time. She should be allowed the respect and courtesy to gain her own audience. She's drawn her own audience share on the TODAY show. CBS should give her the chance to deliver the goods without a failsafe backup looking over her shoulder. Maybe she wanted it this way, maybe not. It just seems misguided to keep Mr. Schieffer in the picture, regardless of his long time career. The message to the viewing audience will be: we don't think Katie can do it alone, so we'll have Bob around to help her out. Wrong message.
E-mail No. 7
I’ve read with interest the furious commentary about Mel Gibson and his “racist” comments, so I might as well chime in. Mel claims he’s not a bigot or a racist, and he has made apologies for his comments. We should probably take him at his word because none of us really know what is in his head or his heart. How many of us have made some off color or hurtful joke or comment, but it’s “OK” because the group is not represented in current company? You can name any number of categories, fat, liberal, conservative, black, gay, etc. The list can go on and on when talking about thin-skinned America in the 21st century. Mel is guilty of is being a drunken ass that endangered the lives of those driving on that highway that night. As for being a racist or bigot, I’ll have to let him work that out on his own.
E-mail No. 8
Are you still on the air? I'm totally baffled. Are you related to a higher up at FOX? Are you married? Or dating a higher up? Do you have incriminating pix of one of them? I can't believe that you are still on air. You would have thought after your butchered the Holloway case, they would have cut you loose. I know that even for you. It would be hard to screw up the Middle East coverage. But why would they take a chance? Simply bizarre [sic]. Your work over the last year says you should be canned. And never put in front of a mic again. But yet your [sic] still on TV? If you do get canned, I'm sure Aruba would have a spot for it's [sic] National Hero. That's probably the only place you are qualified to work on TV.
ANSWER: This viewer forgot to write his/her name.
E-mail No. 9
Great show Wednesday! Good update on the war with lots of good guests and info. What a surprise to see Robert Shapiro! He was a great choice of guests for the Mel Gibson discussion.
Speaking of which, in answer to Wednesday's GretaWire question: in a private conversation I would ask Mel to explain how he reconciles his religious beliefs with his apparent social prejudices, leaving the alcohol excuse out of the explanation. And about boycotting his movies, I already do not see his movies because of his prior sexist and homophobic comments. Not that everyone who I get my entertainment (or news!) from has to share all my beliefs. But some things transcend free speech and diverse viewpoints, and I won't give my time, viewer support, or entertainment dollars to those who spout hate-based opinions. But I also understand that it is possible to separate the actor from the actions and just go see a movie. Glad the incident is generating so much discussion!
Why are some e-mailers picking on Katie Couric?! I'm so happy for her success! Imagine having the job once held by Walter Cronkite! Can't wait to channel-flip between her and Charlie Gibson!
Greta, are you still getting e-mails complaining that there is too much war coverage? I've been learning so much from the coverage, and do not find it excessive. But Mon and Tues I tried watching from the perspective of the complainers — which was not easy, since I love every minute of every OTR! — hoping to help you figure out what they don't like. I sent you an e-mail about it Wednesday (around 2:30 D.C. time). Hope you saw it, hope it helped!
Sorry our Calif heat wave has made its way to the East Coast! Here in the SF suburbs we roasted in 110+ degree weather for more than 10 days! My condo is not air conditioned — or rather the landlord will not fix the broken air conditioner — and it was 100 degrees indoors. My dog and I felt like we were in a crock pot! This week the weather is a chilly 90! Hope the East cools off faster than we did and that everyone is safe!
Enjoy your day,
E-mail No. 10
My brother was killed when he took to a ditch to avoid hitting a man on a tractor who had lost his right to drive from alcohol. What would Mel think if one of his beloved children or his wife were killed by an alcoholic? I pray he will get help before it's too late. I'll pray for you and your family that that happens,
Red Oak, IA
E-mail No. 11
I never wanted to be a bigot and never thought I was but now I wonder if I am, to an extent. I believe that everyone is equal in the eyes of God. But I have been subjected to bigotry and racism by at least two different "races" and I definitely have issues. I belong to the Caucasian race myself, but I have been shunned, ignored and cursed by African Americans to the point where I really am not comfortable around a lot of them. I have a few African American friends who are special to me and in thinking about them in a group of friends they don't stand out as any different. However, I moved to an area a few years ago that is predominantly Hispanic. I am definitely the minority here and, believe me, I know it. These people call themselves Americans but they don't treat Anglo's here as being the same nationality. This is their "neck of the woods" and if I don't speak the language, oh well. It's like living in a completely different country. It bothers me but mostly I just try to keep busy and bide my time for two and a half more years until my husband retires and we can move back to deal with the first issue I mentioned. I don't like conflict so I won't argue back with either of these two races but it does make me feel differently toward them. Does that make me a bigot?
E-mail No. 12
Ok, Greta, you outed me! I am a bigot! I cannot stand to talk to LIBERALS! They just don't get it!
San Antonio, TX
E-mail No. 13
If Mel Gibson grew up with his father, a bigot raised him. He probably heard a number of ugly hate filled statements from his father about Jews, and he probably heard them often. That does not necessarily mean he holds those views (though he might) but I can certainly see how despicable ideas got into his head. Further, alcohol "encourages" those ideas regurgitate themselves.
I am not attempting to excuse Mel Gibson.
I had a grandmother who had ugly things to say about black people. My parents aren't racist and neither am I, however, every once in a while one of her ugly comments goes through my head (and I didn't even live in the same town as she did so I didn't hear her comments often). It makes me sick to know I have thoughts like that when they aren't my true feelings and to imagine being drunk and spewing those thoughts myself is horrifying.
I do not excuse Mel Gibson but I understand how those ideas may have gotten in his head.
E-mail No. 14
Why is FOX News not covering the hate crime in the Jewish Center the way FOX News covers 24/7/unlimited years other crimes? If a conservative or Republican or the reverse of the hate crime had occurred I can just imagine all the constant news alerts. Does FOX News think its viewers are so dumb we don’t see the hypocrisy?
ANSWER: Have you been watching FOX News lately? We have been practically wall-to-wall covering the war…
E-mail No. 15
I enjoyed your list of green room topics. Want to hear ours here at the nurses' desk?
FOX News Channel, Greta van Susteren, Bill O'Reilly, Rob Thomas, hurricane season, MyNetTV, Hugh Hefner's 80th birthday, the movie "World Trade Center," Duke University rape case, horses, renaming New York City as New Israel (is that a racist idea?), Andrea Yates' children, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, Dr. Robert Rey from "Dr. 90210," karaoke bars, sex, French wine, food, high cholesterol dieting, Kid Rock, "Beavis and Butthead" on DVD, Dixie Chicks, lottery numbers, "Desperate Housewives," "Melrose Place," talking cows on the TV commercials and of course the war in Israel.
I wish I had more time to write. Back to work,
E-mail No. 16
Greta, I just love those generals! They tell it like it is. My father fought in WWII and the generals sound just like my father. Keep them on your show through this War on Terror.
Thanks so much for your reporting.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
ANSWER: I love them both, too. They are very smart, very experienced… and very, very, very decent men. I admire them immensely.
E-mail No. 17
I live in a neighborhood where the neighborhood committee/board is mostly run by bigots! I am disabled (TBI, left-side impaired), married with a 4-year-old daughter. I have a clean house and I keep my yard neat and weeded, but the bigots that run the neighborhood, especially my next door neighbor, tell me my yard looks like trash! I guess if it doesn't look like his it is not good enough. These bigots make my life miserable. It is sad when people like this manipulate and others in their group and cause such disarray.
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